thinglets: Film-a-month Favs for 2009 (part two)

all dates from

July - 2012

Some slim pickings for what's usually a solid month of the year. I've not, and will not, see a Harry Potter film in the theater. That being the case, for the apocalyptic geek in me... and the fact that John Cusack is in it, 2012 is my pick.

Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. "2012" is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.

August - Inglourious Basterds

When one shakes random director and genre generators and comes up with Quentin Tarantino and World War II... how can I not see this?

"Inglourious Basterds" (sic) begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as "The Basterds," Raine's squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own.

September - The Informant

Okay, something strikes me as strange when too many post-apocalyptic/futuristic/vampire options are given in the first couple weeks of the month. I'd rather stick with Soderbergh and Damon.

What was Mark Whitacre thinking? A rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Whitacre suddenly turns whistleblower. Even as he exposes his company's multi-national price-fixing conspiracy to the FBI, Whitacre envisions himself being hailed as a hero of the common man and handed a promotion. But before all that can happen, the FBI needs evidence, so Whitacre eagerly agrees to wear a wire and carry a hidden tape recorder in his briefcase, imagining himself as a kind of de facto secret agent. Unfortunately for the FBI, their lead witness hasn't been quite so forthcoming about helping himself to the corporate coffers. Whitacre's ever-changing account frustrates the agents and threatens the case against ADM as it becomes almost impossible to decipher what is real and what is the product of Whitacre's rambling imagination. Based on the true story of the highest-ranking corporate whistleblower in U.S. history.

October - Where the Wild Things Are

I've gotta give give mad retro respect to a Maurice Sendak book being made into a film by Spike Jonze no less.

An adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world--a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler.

November - Sherlock Holmes

Not that I care too much that Guy Ritchie is involved... Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Pipes anyone? But it's Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Thankfully this is coming out before what I'm sure will be a notoriously unfunny comedic remake that's rumored with Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen. I almost picked The Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro, but I really wish they hadn't gone period piece with it. I was hoping for a modern-day adaptation.

In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, "Sherlock Holmes" sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.

December - Avatar

I get the feeling there are still WAY more announcements for film releases almost a year from now, but, based on the known titles as of now, James Cameron alone wins this for me. What looks like a solid cast is bound to be surrounded by some spectacular cinematography and effects.

"Avatar" tells the story of an ex-Marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Avatar concept art